Council declares war on fake disc users

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC), which has unearthed a massive scam involving millions of dollars, will move to have businesses and kombis operating with fake discs arrested.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said since the city already has the list of businesses operating illegally they will shut them down and fine them.

Chideme also said that the same will be done with kombis which will be impounded.

“For all the offences of forgery and not having a disc we will ask the business and kombi to back pay from the time that they last genuinely paid for a disc to council.

We are also doing investigations to find out the source of the fake discs and have them arrested,” he said.

He added that under the arrangement that HCC has with the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara), kombis will be required to pay for their rank disc when they make payments for their vehicle licences.

He said the arrangement which is a win-win for both entities will ensure that kombis adhere to the law.

Acting town clerk Josephine Ncube said there is need to deal with the production of fake discs which are milking the city of its deserved money.

“Currently, we are in the process of finalising agreements with a vendor we have identified who can produce rank discs which cannot be forged or manipulated,” she said.

Councillors in the audit committee however, raised concern with rank discs arguing that kombis will continue evading payment as the city does not have controlled ranks.

During a meeting held last month, the audit committee recommended that the city’s health services director Prosper Chonzi, who is a member of the town technical team, implement technology that produces electronic business licences similar to the system used by Zinara.

“That the director of health services and city enforcement manager in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police carry out a city wide blitz that culminates in the prosecution of all licensing defaulters and creation of a more reflective database,” the councillors resolved.

HCC audit manager Joseph Issa reported that revenue from business licensing dropped by 17 percent from $7 million in 2014 to $5,8 million last year.

Issa said apart from the counterfeit documents, there was also a lack of enforcement on licensing of businesses operating within the city.

“According to a survey conducted in March, of 976 businesses in Harare’s central business district, three percent (33) are operating with fake business licences while 51 percent (495) are not licensed at all. In the same vein, an inspection of 782 commuter omnibuses revealed 14 percent (106) of them are operating with fake rank discs while eight percent (60) are operating without valid rank discs,” Issa said.

A survey conducted by the Daily News showed that fraudulent production of different documents including HCC business and rank discs was being done close to the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Central police station.

Various rooms in buildings near the station were teeming with forgers who can produce “authentic documents”.

A man who refused to be named revealed the process saying all it took was a computer, a scanner and bond paper.

“Ndangopihwa OG ndika scanner ndotora three days kubika zvekuti kana iwe haumbozvibate kuti chidhuura. Kana pepa racho rarekumberi mari yako ndoinenge yakutonga kuti chinobuda sei. Kupera kwezuva igauro rako chete (Once I receive the original copy I scan it and after three days I can produce your document. If the paper is special, how much you are prepared to pay will determine the quality of the product.

Ultimately, it all depends on how much you are willing to part with for the fakes),” he said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.